The EPC is the governing body that oversees Study Abroad at Haverford, comprised of faculty and staff of the College. All additions and deletions to the list of Haverford-approved programs are approved by the EPC.
The Educational Policy Committee (EPC)
Ideally, students should have a 3.0 GPA by the semester prior to departure.
GPA requirements for the approved programs vary and students must meet the eligibility requirements, (GPA, language prerequisite, etc.) set by their individual program. Students should check individual Programs for more information on program-specific requirements and make an appointment with the Office of International Academic Affairs to discuss their options.
Students with lower GPAs can petition to the International Academic Programs Faculty Advisory Committee for permission to study abroad.
Academic and Disciplinary Standing
Students must be in good academic and disciplinary standing and be making normal progress toward graduation. Sophomores, juniors and seniors are eligible to study abroad. Second semester freshmen may petition to do so. Those planning to go on Deans' Leave should apply the semester they are on campus and must attend the Mandatory Meetings and Orientation Session.
Students with delinquent accounts are not eligible to participate in study abroad programs.
Mandatory Information Sessions and Orientation
Students who apply to study abroad are required to attend (1) one of the mandatory information sessions before applying and (2) the pre-departure orientation. Check the Calendar for the dates of the next scheduled sessions. Students who do not attend these sessions will not be permitted to study abroad.
Students should be in good health physically, emotionally, and mentally. Studying abroad can be stressful, so students should check with their physicians, Health Services, or their health care provider to receive assurances that they are able to participate in our study abroad program. In cases where a medical condition is on-going (diabetes, eating disorder, etc.), referrals for continual care abroad must be documented. Not all countries have English speaking doctors, psychologists, or psychiatrists available. Students and their mental care provider should make arrangements for this care prior to application. Students interested in studying in some high-risk countries must recognize the possibility of becoming ill and the risk of contracting long-term diseases if they do not obtain the appropriate vaccinations or if they do not comply with protective healthcare guidelines, including personal hygiene. However, even with precautions, illness is a high risk. Information is available in the Black Binders in the Study Abroad Office and on the Travel Resources site.
Students should be motivated to study abroad and demonstrate a willingness to adjust to the demands of living abroad and to cope with the challenges of a different academic environment. Students also must display maturity and social responsibility, and be able to deal with the unexpected.
Disabilities and Traveling Abroad
Students who have physical disabilities, a documented learning disability, or need continuous or special periodic care for medical, emotional, or mental health must indicate their needs in writing to the Office of International Academic Affairs prior to applying to a program. None of these precludes a student from participating in a study abroad program; however, not all partner universities may be able to offer special accommodations.
By declaring these conditions in advance, there will be adequate time to find a program that best meets the student's needs. Students are required to meet with Sherrie Borowsky, Coordinator of Access and Disability Services (firstname.lastname@example.org) at Haverford prior to declaring their intent to go abroad. For detailed information on disabilities and traveling abroad, visit the Mobility International USA website.
Course Load Abroad/Haverford Course Equivalency
One Haverford course equals four semester credit hours on a semester credit hour system. The normal course load at Haverford is four credits per semester for a total of 16 semester credit hours. On some programs each course is worth 3 semester credit hours; students would have to take 5 courses (3x5=15 semester credit hours) to attain the four credit equivalent at Haverford. It is not a course-to-course equivalent, but one full course load at the host university transfers to a full course load at Haverford. All the program descriptions on the Programs chart have the appropriate credit equivalent for all partner institutions.
Students are required to take a full course load on all approved programs. Students who, for medical or other serious reasons, may need to withdraw from a class abroad must obtain permission from the on-site academic director and the Office of International Academic Affairs.
Fulfilling Requirements Abroad
Credits earned abroad on Haverford's approved programs do count toward the 32 course credit requirement. Courses abroad may fulfill major, minor and concentration requirements; approval rests solely with the departmental major, minor or concentration advisers. Students should contact their advisors in advance of studying abroad to discuss their transferring credit options while abroad (with all specifics possible at the time). In order to receive major, minor or concentration credit, students should bring back their course descriptions, notebooks, reading lists, assignments, papers, tests, exams, research materials, etc. for their advisers to review. Students on Haverford's approved programs may also fulfill the humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, quantitative and language requirements (see below) during their time abroad. Elective credits are monitored by Dean Mancini, who maintains a list of pre-approved elective credits offered at our partner institutions.
It is expected that students will complete the majority of their major , minor and concentration courses at Haverford. Each department decides how many credits can be transferred in from institutions outside the Quaker Consortium. Check with your major. minor, concentration adviser (s) for confirmation of how many courses can be accepted before you choose a program.
No matter the number of credits earned abroad, students must compete a total of 24 credits (of the 32) in the four college community (Haverford, Bryn Mawr, Swarthmore and the University of Pennsylvania) during the academic year. Thus, students going abroad for one year, may not reduce their course load if they have APs and summer school credit. Students must also be in residence for 6 semesters and must take 8 of the 32 at Haverford College.
All students participating in an English-language program in a non-English speaking host country are required to take a course in the native language at their proficiency level for the entire duration of their stay in that country. Please note that not all programs offering language courses fulfill Haverford's language requirement. Students may fulfill the language requirement by successful completion (grade C or above) of one semester of intensive language study at any one of the approved programs listed as Fulfilling Language Requirement.
Courses offered in the non liberal arts such as restaurant management, public speaking, fashion design, cooking classes, camping and such are not transferable for credit. If in doubt, students should contact the Dean of Global Affairs.
Physical Education credit abroad will not transfer to PE credit at Haverford.
Exams and Finals
In order to receive credit at Haverford, students are required to take the examinations as scheduled by the host institution. Final examinations cannot be rearranged to accommodate individual travel arrangements or personal plans. If a paper is assigned in lieu of an examination, the paper must be completed before the student leaves the program. Under no circumstances are students permitted to leave a program early. Students who leave early or arrive late risk losing academic credit.
Many of the programs abroad do not evaluate student performance by continuous assessment throughout the semester such as by scheduling quizzes, tests, and midterms. Instead, students are expected to work independently and keep up with their assignments. In such cases the entire grade will depend on the final exam or final paper.
Haverford does not record grades from the study abroad programs on the transcript. Major, minor, and concentration transfer credit will only be granted for courses in which students received a grade of a C or above. No pass/fail credits will be accepted. This is consistent with Haverford's policy for summer study and study within the US. In all these cases, the grades are not averaged into the GPA nor are they shown on the transcript.
Faculty advisers, deans and the Honors and Fellowship Committee will also have access to the transcript as they often take study abroad grades into consideration when awarding departmental and/or college honors. Pre-Law and Pre-Med advisors, etc. will also have access to the foreign transcript.
Students should check the dates for their program as the academic calendars for partner universities vary widely and may not be in complete synchronization with Haverford's. While many academic calendars in places like South America, Latin America, and Australia follow the regular calendar year, in other locations, this is not the case. There are some programs (Oxbridge and LSE, for example) that are on trimesters, which does require all students to attend for the full academic year. Please check your program start and end dates carefully—if you choose a specific program, you must abide by the hosting school’s academic calendar.
Requesting a Program Transcript
Upon completion of their studies, students should arrange to have a transcript sent to the Director of Study Abroad. Owing to privacy laws, only the student can request the transcript. The form requires a signature; therefore, it can only be done by letter or fax and not email. Partner institutions will provide the student with one or two official transcripts free of charge. If the student needs more transcripts there may be a fee, payable at the time of the request. It is easiest to order the transcript prior to departure as it will be difficult to send payment in the local currency once students return to the USA.
The Director of Study Abroad will automatically award credits based on the pre-registration form signed by the student and the advisers. If there is a problem with the credits or distribution requirements, students should contact the Director of Study Abroad immediately.
Studying Abroad and Honors
Each year students who have studied abroad are awarded departmental and/or College Honors. A number have also been elected to Phi Beta Kappa, and some have also won Marshall, Fulbright, and other scholarships, fellowships, and prizes. Studying abroad should not jeopardize your opportunities to receive College prizes, though each department is different. If you have concerns, please speak with your major advisor.
Research & Internships
Some study abroad programs offer courses with an internship component; Haverford does accept these courses for credit (such as those with CET, CIEE, IES, and Sweet Briar programs). The internship's corresponding seminar course usually has weekly discussions, assignments due throughout the semester, and a research paper, for which students do receive a grade. These and other programs also offer volunteer opportunities and internships, for which no credit is awarded.
Research and Independent Study
Many Haverford-approved programs have opportunities for students to participate in research or independent study while abroad. To learn more about the specific opportunities available, please explore the program's websites. The following represent some of the program opportunities available:
Directed Research/Field Study:
Students can participate in research to investigate a contemporary, historical, or regional topic under the direction of a faculty member from the host institution. This research can be either in the field or library-based.
- Argentina - IFSA-Butler-Buenos Aires Advanced
- Directed Research Concentration: The directed research concentration provides students with the opportunity to study current events and issues of importance to individual countries, Latin America as a whole and the global society, alongside faculty and associated researchers at the Fundación Simón Rodríguez in Buenos Aires. Each semester, a small number of highly qualified IFSA-Butler students conduct in-depth research on a contemporary issue of their choosing. Some students participate in part-time field work experiences while others conduct interviews and collect data during visits to research sites. The directed research concentration is designed individually for each participant on the basis of past academic work, research skills and area of personal research interest.
- Botswana – CIEE at University of Botswana, Gaborone: Arts and Sciences
- Required course: Setswana Language and Culture Practicum is a task-based course and requires students to take the lead to complete tasks or research projects of personal interest. It is designed to help students practice and interact in Setswana during visits to local historical and cultural sites, while engaged in various community-based learning projects.
- China - CET Harbin Chinese Language Program
- Advanced students may select the Research Track. This track is open to students with at least four years of previous undergraduate Chinese language study. It is perfect for students with plans to attend graduate school or conduct independent research in China.
- Denmark - DIS-Copenhagen
- Some of the Core Courses have research components, such as Biomedicine, Medical Practice and Policy, the three European Humanities core courses, Neuroscience, the three Psychology core courses, and Public Health. Students also have the opportunity to do individualized research in Denmark/Europe as part of a project or thesis from their home university, under the guidance of a local advisor.
- Greece - College Year in Athens
- Students may complete an individually supervised research project.
- Russia – ACTR: Advanced Russian Language and Area Studies Program
- Independent Research: Full-year students with advanced Russian skills may substitute an independent research project for the ACTR area studies courses while continuing their language classes during the second semester. Research projects culminate in a 15- to 20-page research paper written in Russian. Research projects require extensive work in libraries and archives.
- South Africa - CIEE Cape Town Arts and Sciences
- Directed Independent Research: Students may submit a research proposal including a clearly defined research topic, explanation of research plans, description of preparation in the planned area of study, list of resources, tentative outline of a final paper, and suggested schedule of progress in order to be considered for a directed research project. Approval must be obtained from the resident director and the student’s home institution prior to arrival on the program.
- South Africa - CIEE Cape Town Service Learning
- Service Learning – Independent Research and Capstone Project: This course is designed to be a new project or a new extension of an existing project that complements the student’s service practicum. It is a two-part course that requires students to develop an investigation and project based upon a demonstrated community-identified need, and design and complete a full project proposal for approval by a service-learning committee by the end of the semester.
- South Africa – Macalaster-Pomona-Swarthmore Consortium on Globalization, the Environment, and Society in Cape Town
- Directed Study: All students on this program participate in directed study projects under the supervision of a UCT professor. This unique component engages students (or in some cases a group of students) in collaborative, usually field-based, study in selected areas of current research in South Africa. The independent study project is a required component of the program. Project topics are typically focused on the program theme of globalization and the environment.
- Spain - IES Barcelona
- Research Seminar: The objective of this course is the design, development and writing of a scholarly research project on a topic chosen by the student. The course will provide the tools and skills required to carry out research. The seminar will cover the relevant research methodologies, techniques, and theory, as indicated by the specific needs of the student.
- United Kingdom (England) - London School of Economics
- Research courses and Applied course projects: There are opportunities for students to take research courses (Anthropology, Government, Management, Operations, Social Policy, Sociology, and Statistics) and also several courses with applied projects components.
Students can apply to take an individually-designed course on special topics not offered in formal courses, under the direction of a faculty member from the host institution.
- China - CET Beijing Chinese Studies Program
- Greece - College Year in Athens
- India – CIEE Hyderabad
- Independent/directed study courses, in which a faculty member supervises readings, field study, and/or research focused on a specific topic, are available at the University. Students interested in this option need to provide email confirmation from their study abroad advisor during the on-site registration process while in India.
- Israel – IFSA at Hebrew University, Jerusalem
- Italy - ICCS in Rome
- Students who wish to take an independent study or directed reading may do so, providing it is supervised by a member of the faculty at the student's own college or university.
- Morocco - Al Akhawayn University
- South Africa - CIEE Cape Town Arts and Sciences